Camporee is an annual event in which boys work as patrols, competing not only with the other two patrols of Troop 147, but also with about 350 scouts (about 50 patrols) from local cities in the Lucky Baldwin District of the San Gabriel Valley Council. This year’s events included first aid, knots & lashings, citizenship, knife & axe, firebuilding, orienteering, camping, cooking, rifle-shooting, and a mystery event. We had a great turnout of 20 scouts, and our three patrols (Mystery, Spartan, and Eagle) did great – even the newest scouts represented themselves admirably. The adult leaders in the troop also deserve some credit – they worked hard all day in the hot sun running the knife & axe skills event, and ran a safe, educational, and fun program. Check out the photos…
The troop headed to the Colorado River for an outstanding canoe trek. After passing through Hoover Dam security, we launched canoes from the base of the dam into the cool clear waters of the Colorado. Scouts canoed 25 miles downstream from Hoover Dam to Nelson’s Landing over three days. Spectacular scenery, dark caves, hot mineral springs, canyon climbs, a tour of a fish hatchery, a visit to a marina, some scout skills training, great campfires, and great food – there was so much to see and do, we can’t describe it all. Just look at the pictures!
Scouts spent a weekend in March camping at a great railroad museum in Perris. Boys worked on their railroading merit badge, in the process learning all about the past, present, and future of rail transportation. Special thanks go to our great merit badge counselor, tour guide, and camp and museum host for the weekend – Steve Pesante. Many of our new crop of scouts joined us for this one, and earned their very first merit badge. Every scout even got to drive a trolley car! Boys also did a great job setting up camp and cooking as patrols. There were some nervous scouts at night because a mountain lion attacked somebody nearby a few weeks ago (and escaped), but this fact helped make sure everyone obeyed the buddy system. We’re proud of the new scouts for doing so well on their first campout, and of the senior scouts for showing the new guys the ropes (figuratively & literally). Take a look at a few photos:
The troop returned to San Jacinto State Park for some amazing backpacking through the snow. Scouts had a lot of fun riding the Palm Springs Tram and at the top found a winter wonderland with heavy snow falling as they hiked. Scouts hiked for a couple of hours and set up camp in the deep snow at around 9,000 feet elevation. The boys really had to live the boy scout motto, “Be Prepared”, to stay warm, dry, and comfortable on this adventure. Check out the pictures!
For a highly unusual change, the troop skipped camping for the month of December. First time in many years. Instead, we took in excellent tours of one of LA’s marine fire departments. We had an amazing tour of the fire station and boats given by enthusiastic firefighters. Then, it got better – we had a tour of the USS Iowa given by the grandfather of two of our scouts. Mr. G. gave an up-close and personal tour of what it was like to live and work on the Iowa.
We also managed to squeeze in a quick look at the San Pedro Maritime Museum, and walk along the shorefront looking at various statues and memorials – very interesting. Check out the photos!
The cub scouts of Pack 66 and boy scouts of Troop 147 had a fun day of fishing on a beautiful day in late November. Scouts left from Long Beach harbor on the cozy fishing boat “Southern California”. The boat was filled to its capacity of 60 fisherman. The weather was perfect and the ocean was calm. The fish were biting – scouts caught mackerel, treefish, chuckleheads, sheepheads, and a lot of nice rockfish. We even had a visiting sea lion that ate a few fish right off the lines! Everyone had a great day of fishing (with some time for playing cards and watching the sea life), capped off with a beautiful sunset on the ocean before we returned to the lights of Long Beach.
This year for the first time, the troop split into two summer camps. The older scouts went to Philmont for a high-adventure trek (see that post) and the younger scouts went to Camp Marin Sierra for more traditional summer camping. Marin Sierra is in the Sierras above Tahoe, and the farthest camp we’ve done (almost 500 miles away!). The camp had great reviews from other local troops and the boys were not disappointed. We had a great turnout of 16 scouts and 6 adults. Scouts earned loads of exciting merit badges, enjoyed swimming and boating in Chubb Lake, and even enjoyed some unusually tasty camp food. Everyone loved this camp, so perhaps we’ll go back again one summer.
Lots of great pictures will be posted soon!
Troop 147 successfully tackled BSA’s Philmont Scout Ranch this August as part of two separate crews. What an adventure in the New Mexico mountains for our scouts! Many days were spent backpacking up and down mountains (from base camp at 6,700′ to mountains over 11,000′ high) loaded with full packs, adding up to over 70 challenging miles. Scouts (and leaders) persevered through powerful lightning storms, windstorms, hailstorms, and rainstorms, plus the occasional hot and sunny day. We were stalked by a mountain lion in camp one evening, and saw lots of other interesting wildlife from rattlesnakes to turkeys to deer to various lizards. The afternoons and evenings were crammed with activities such as horseback riding, burro racing, shooting rifles, throwing atlatls, forging iron, touring gold mines, and learning about the rich paleontology, archaeology, and more recent history of the area. Wow, we got to see the world’s only Tyrannosaurus rex footprints, right where they were made 65 million years ago! Even the train ride to New Mexico on the Southwest Chief was fun for all – we even observed “the deer and the antelope play” on the range.
Philmont requires months of physical, mental, and equipment preparation, and is not something the troop will do every year. However, we will certainly go back when a new crop of scouts is strong enough to attempt this major wilderness adventure. See the photos for a small taste of this amazing place.
Wow! We had a great turnout for a high-adventure weekend in the Channel Islands National Park. Scouts and several moms, dads, and siblings kayaked all day on Saturday through some amazing sea caves on Santa Cruz Island. We saw an amazing variety of marine life from coelenterates and echinoderms up to pinnipeds and cetaceans. We had plenty of time to snorkel and swim, too. And no scout outing would be complete without a hike – this time we hiked along the cliffs and had great views toward the mainland. The ferry trips over and back on a small ship were also a highlight – especially the rough swells coming home. Even the land creatures were fun to watch, such as the endangered Channel Islands fox, and the particularly ravenous ravens who attacked our watermelon when we turned our back on them. Combine the beautiful campsite with the great activities, and this is an adventure we’ll have to do again in the future.
The troop headed out to the Mojave desert for some scout training this weekend. Scouts earned their Firem’n Chit and Tot’n Chip cards, which grants them the privilege to light fires and carry a pocketknife (on scout events only, not at school!). The scenery was stunning, and the weather was perfect – not too hot. Owl Canyon was a nice campground and we had almost the entire place to ourselves. Rainbow Basin, designated as a National Natural Landmark, was amazing, with jumbled rock formations and lots of canyons and caves to explore.